Two small businesses expand in N.J. with EDA support

Two small businesses in the state are expanding with financial support from the New Jersey Economic Development Authority, the EDA announced on Thursday.

JRL Imports, a fashion accessory company, and MTB AMG, a contracting company and high-end metal fabricator, will together create nearly 200 new jobs in Newark and Paterson.

“Building a supportive environment where growing businesses have access to the resources they need is an important component of Gov. (Phil) Murphy’s plan to build a stronger, fairer economy,” NJEDA CEO Tim Sullivan said. “We are proud see growing businesses choose New Jersey as the site for their expansion and take advantage of NJEDA programs designed to support their immediate financing needs and put them on the road to long-term success in the Garden State.”

MTB AMG closed on a loan in July for $1.4 million from ConnectOne Bank, a NJEDA Premier Lender, with a $410,000 participation from the EDA. The fabricator said the funds will provide it the ability to relocate its headquarters and 160 jobs from Brooklyn to Newark.

“If you run a growing company, moving to New Jersey is the smart move,” MTB AMG owner Arthur Nelson said. “You get access to the same markets and resources you have in New York, but with lower overhead cost. Add to that the deep talent pool and vibrant community in Newark, and it’s clear Jersey offers the whole package.”

“We are excited to partner with the NJEDA through the Premier Lender program to play a pivotal role in MTB AMG’s continued growth while bringing new jobs, which in turn, benefits the Newark community,” Elizabeth Magennis, executive vice president and chief lending officer at ConnectOne Bank, said. “Participating in this program allows us to achieve our people-first mission by supporting small businesses and building up our local communities.”

JRL Imports was approved for a $524,000 direct loan from the EDA in July, which combined with a $655,000 loan from Cross River Bank, enabling the fashion wholesaler to purchase a facility in Paterson. JRL Imports plans to maintain 21 jobs and create an addition seven after the buy.

“As a company that relies on warehousing and solid logistics infrastructure, locating in Paterson was the obvious choice,” Joseph Lefkowitz, owner of JRL Imports, said. “New Jersey’s unparalleled connectivity to all the major Northeast markets as well as global connections through the airports in the region will allow us to expand our online business, and the state’s diverse, talented workforce will make it easy to grow.”

The funds were provided through the NJEDA’s Premier Lending Program, which works with more than a dozen banks throughout New Jersey to guarantee or participate in a portion of commercial loans or lines of credit. Businesses can use the financing for fixed assets or term working capital.